Hometown: Ozark, Ark.
Parents: Carlton and Roxie Smith
FFA Chapter: Ozark FFA
Advisors: Heidi Gregory and Ben Culver
4-H Club: Franklin County 4-H
Leader: Jesse Taylor
How did you get started in agriculture?
“My grandfather, Lonnie Tobert, started a tradition of membership in 4-H because he believed it was a good program to be involved in. He led my older cousins, Connor and Dalton, to join when they were young. My doing so when I was in fifth grade simply continued that tradition, and it’s a good one.”
What is your favorite aspect of agriculture?
“I love livestock with my focus on swine right now. I raise show pigs and show them with this year being the first with a litter that I raised. I got to see my champion born and was with him during the whole growing and showing process. He was the Grand Champion Market Hog at the Franklin County Fair where I also won overall showmanship.”
Who is the most agriculturally influential person in your life?
“My cousin Connor Palarino is a really important influence because he has taught me the most about agriculture and always said a good work ethic pays off if you stick with it. Winning reserve grand champion market hog at our Franklin County Fair and then reserve grand champion Duroc at the state fair in Little Rock, Ark., when I was 15 brought home the truth of what he said although I had been working with that concept since joining 4-H. Winning at the fairs was simply confirmation of its truth.”
What is your current involvement with agriculture?
“I am the president of our FFA chapter. I encourage members to try to recruit others because agriculture is so obviously essential, especially consider the exploding world population and accompanying increased food needs. I also supervise and work at the school farm where I especially enjoy helping with our few cows. My membership in both FFA and 4-H go hand-in-hand. In addition to raising and showing pigs, I also help Connor and Dalton who recently started their own hog production operation, Palarino Livestock.”
What are your future plans?
“I want to attend college and be on the livestock judging team, maybe at Eastern Oklahoma University. Later, I would like to have my own cows and pigs while continuing to help my cousins.”